In the News: Barriers Added to Bike Path

by L.J. Mitchell••• “An estimated 150 people gathered in Foley Square on Nov. 1, 2017 to mourn the victims killed in the Manhattan truck attack on Oct. 31 near the West Side Highway. Community and religious leaders addressed the crowd with messages of peace, while attendees held signs and sang songs of unity.” —New York Daily News (but the photo above, by L. J. Mitchell, is from last night’s Hudson River Park vigil)

••• “ISIS claimed responsibility on Thursday for the truck attack on Halloween.” —New York

••• “New York transportation authorities on Thursday began placing hundreds of large concrete barriers at 57 intersections along the Hudson River Park Bikeway in an effort to protect the popular path from future terror attacks.” (Thanks to C. for the photo.) —New York Times

••• Joe Ricketts, owner of DNAinfo and Gothamist (which merged last spring), has closed both sites down. In his letter about the closure, Ricketts wrote, “I’m hopeful that in time, someone will crack the code on a business that can support exceptional neighborhood storytelling for I believe telling those stories remains essential.” Lots of us have cracked it, Joe. And the New York Times subsequently added mentions of West Side Rag, Bklyner, the Queens Post, and Tribeca Citizen.

••• “A crazed crook jumped into the Hudson River in lower Manhattan Friday morning after stealing a taxi cab, officials said. The 58-year-old man stole a cab on North End Ave. in Battery Park City and drove three blocks to River Terrace, where he jumped from the seawall into the river about 8:50 a.m., police said. The crew on NY Waterway’s Gov. Thomas H. Kean ferry spotted the man in the water. Deckhands Gregorio Pages and Pietro Romano lowered a roll-up ladder from the bow of the boat and got the man out of the water.” —New York Daily News

••• Daytonian in Manhattan looks in to the history of 46 Walker, including this: “Jacob Webster ran the J. Webster & Co. cloak, underwear, and skirt manufacturing firm here in the 1880s. In January, 1891, business troubles were no doubt weighing heavily on Webster’s mind when he got into an altercation with Arthur M. Mundt, who with his brothers manufactured ‘skirts and gaiters’ nearby. In the course of the argument Webster struck Mundt on the head ‘with some blunt instrument,’ according to newspaper reports, almost assuredly the head of his cane. The incident would cause problems for both men later.”

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting the Daytonian article! I recently discovered that my great grandfather worked at 46 Walker back in 1917. It was fun to read about the history of the building. :)

  2. I wish they would just place concrete planters on the bike lanes versus those ugly concrete blocks. Too much of them downtown.

  3. These concrete barriers will also increase pedestrian safety by slowing bikers at intersections (where they are required to stop for crossing pedestrians but rarely do so, in my experience).

    • I, too, hope it will slow the bikers down, especially at Houston St. Not only are there pedestrians but vehicle traffic entering and leaving the parking garages at Pier 40. Most bikers totally ignore the bike lane traffic signals. Those on Citibikes seem particularly ignorant of the requirement that they obey the same traffic laws as a motorized vehicle.

    • Ah yes James, my first concern when discussing solutions to prevent more bikers from being mowed down is to blame them for pedestrian safety. What are the stats on pedestrian safety on that bike path that have you so up in arms. The NYPDs knee jerk reaction to this tragedy is disgusting. How about they put the barricades in the dividing lane instead of blocking off individual lanes? It’s dangerous. And all the signs asking New Yorkers to report electric bikes on the bike lane!? Give me a break.

      • al·so
        /ˈôlsō/
        adverb
        in addition; too.

        “These concrete barriers will ALSO increase pedestrian safety” is not equivalent to “FIRST concern.”

        • As I said before,

          What stats on bike lane safety have you so concerned? Has there been some sudden increase in bike related accidents on the west side that has you shaking in your boots?

    • i’m with james on this one. crossing the bike path with my dog is a daily hazard. most bikers don’t slow down and almost none stop.

      • As a biker (who stops) the issue is always that the pedestrian stops first, thus giving the biker the right of way. Just keep walking, make them stop.

  4. Thank you Sean. Pedestrians have gotten so complacent.
    Assuming everyone will stop for them.
    And yeah James poor cyclists were run over by a terrorist and
    you have to put your two cents in.
    I cycle, walk and drive in the city and people need
    to get off their phones and pay attention. Pedestrians are the worst.
    Those poor cyclists. May the living be ok and the
    dead RIP.

    • “Pedestrians have gotten so complacent. Assuming everyone will stop for them.”

      This kind of attitude earns cyclists no sympathy and is contrary to what the law requires.

      The bike path is owned by New York State. State law expressly makes vehicle and traffic law applicable to a cyclist just as if he or she were the driver of a vehicle. State law requires vehicles stop at intersections for pedestrians and give pedestrians the right of way.

      That said, state law also makes it illegal to for pedestrians to walk along a bike path where sidewalks are provided. (Conversely, city law makes it illegal for people age 13 and older to ride bicycles on the sidewalks, but one sees that all too often.)

  5. I rarely see people on Citibikes blazing through stop signs you really have to peddle hard to get those bikes to move. Guys in helmets on brakeless bikes are another story. They hardly stop at all. However, I observe tons of people daily glued to their phones walking head down into the crowd. They rarely get out of anyone’s way. So we have guilty parties on both sides who each need to either slow down or look up. Peace ✌️

  6. There are probably hundreds of soft targets around the City, i.e. places where people congregate or just go about their daily lives. We cannot put large concrete barriers at all of them out of fear that one will be the next random site of a terror attack. Maybe these barriers provide a sense of security but I think it’s illusory. In places where the NYPD decides that additional security is prudent, including the bike path, I hope they replace the concrete barriers with metal bollards or something else less horrible looking.

  7. I have to say, looking at the new barriers by Harrison Street this morning, it’s an almost a comical response (in a very non comical situation). They have added barriers to the 2 curb cut entrances to the bike lane at the 2 pedestrian crossings, but 1 foot away there is 50-100 feet of 4 inch curb in between the two entrances with no protection at all.

    Entrances to the bike path are cut off by the large concrete blocks on either side, but access to the pedestrian walkway 10 feet away is free and open, as is the entire length of walkway between Chambers and Houston (are we only worried about a vehicle on the bike pathway because that’s what this guy happened to choose as his target?).

    I suppose something had to be done and something is better than nothing at all, but protecting an entrance and leaving 50-100 feet of 4 inch curb which a passenger car could easily drive over (much less an SUV or truck) is IMO ineffective and negligent.

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